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News Release

ASAE Names Waters, Alexander, Akridge with Highest Individual Honors for Exceptional Leadership

July 10, 2013

WASHINGTON—ASAE will honor Dr. Susan B. Waters, FASAE, CAE, CEO of National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), with this year’s Key Award. The Key Award recognizes the association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership in his or her own association and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations as a whole.

In addition, Larry Alexander, FASAE, President & CEO of Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be honored with the Academy of Leaders Award; and David Akridge, CAE, Deputy Executive Director of American Inns of Court Foundation, will receive the Professional Performance Award.

“Each of the honorees made significant contributions to the association community, and we are honored to recognize them for these prestigious individual awards. ASAE and the association community are privileged to be recipients of their talents, knowledge, and leadership, and our community is richer because of their involvement,” said Peter O’Neil, FASAE, CAE, Executive Director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and chair of the 2013 Awards Committee.

Dr. Susan B. Waters, FASAE, CAE is the 64th recipient of the Key Award, ASAE’s highest honor bestowed upon association chief staff executives, which started in 1960. Waters has served ASAE in a variety of roles for 22 years, and she has led associations representing the medical, legal, and insurance industries. In 2002, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern California Society of Association Executives. The Massachusetts Bar Foundation presented her with the “Great Friend of Justice” award in 2000.

Larry Alexander, FASAE, is the 26th recipient of the Academy of Leaders Award. It’s ASAE’s highest honor given to industry partners who have demonstrated exemplary support of ASAE and the entire association community. Alexander is being recognized for his leadership, vision, and commitment for ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). Under his guidance, Detroit CVB, the exclusive sponsor for DELP, has helped grow the successful program. He has also served as a board member of ASAE and the Michigan Society of Association Executives, and he is a committee member for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion.

David Akridge, CAE is the 39th recipient of ASAE’s Professional Performance Award, which recognizes invaluable contributions made by association executives who are at the top level within their organizations but are not CEOs. While at American Inns of Court Foundation, Akridge started as Membership Director and advanced to become the Deputy Executive Director. He oversaw the development of his association from a loosely organized young association to a professional association with a network of 400 chapters. As a volunteer for ASAE, he was active in the development of “The Bottom Line: The Nonprofit Finance Game” and serving as Chair of ASAE’s Finance and Business Operations Section Council.

The awards will be presented at the 2013 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 3-6 in Atlanta, GA.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR,, 202-626-9505.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 10,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

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